Chapter 17 – The Truth of the World
Questions and Answers
“The Demon Queen is…… me……?”
I was shaken up.
I couldn’t understand what was going on.
It was true that the Demon Queen and I looked identical in appearance, and that we shared the same magical abilities.
However, how was any of this even possible?
While I was still dumbfounded, Claire-sama continued.
“There are a lot of people in this world that look like Rei, but you’re different. You are Rei Taylor herself, aren’t you?”
There wasn’t any concrete evidence of it.
But Claire-sama seemed to be completely convinced that she was correct.
Silence hung in the air for a while.
“…… As expected of you, Claire-sama.”
The Demon Queen said curtly.
Unlike how it was a moment ago, her voice was no longer that of an elderly person’s nor a child’s, but instead, of somebody very familiar―― in other words, it was my voice.
“What do you mean by that, Demon Queen?”
“I don’t have any intentions of explaining myself, since you’re going to be dying here either way.”
The Demon Queen refused to answer my question.
“Would your reply be the same even if I’m the one asking you the question?”
“So you’re going to defy me, Rei?”
Claire-sama asked arrogantly.
As if she was looking at something dazzling, the Demon Queen answered with,
“You really don’t change, Claire-sama. You’re incredibly beautiful, just like always.”
She spoke with a lonely smile on her face.
“But that’ll end here as well. Everything will end right here.”
“You intend to have me killed? By your own hands, Rei?”
“I won’t kill you. I’ll leave that to Plato.”
I could see Plato standing right behind the Demon Queen.
“Sure, sure,” Plato replied casually.
“Is there no other choice?”
“Are there any options besides fighting?”
Claire-sama’s expression looked somewhat angry, but also as if she was about to cry. She heaved a sigh.
“I won’t let you do that to me without putting up a fight, you know?”
“It’s better if you don’t struggle. That way, you can go without suffering.”
“You’re quite insolent, aren’t you? Were you not disciplined properly, I wonder?”
“This is all of the time you’re going to be able to buy, Claire-sama.”
Claire-sama’s tone sounded quite aggressive, but that was just for show.
If you looked closely, you could see that her shoulders were trembling and that her lips were pale.
“Manaria-sama, could you use your Spell Breaker or Dominator on her? Since she’s supposed to be me.”
I asked Manaria-sama in a whisper.
“It’s true that her magical composition is just like yours, but it’s actually different. I’m sorry, Rei, but it seems like she’s from a different dimension altogether.”
Even someone like Manaria-sama was unable to fight back.
It seemed like we were gradually running out of options.
“Feel free to resist as much as you’d like. I will kill you when you eventually decide to give up.”
The Demon Queen coldly sentenced us to our deaths.
“Hey, hey, hey, that’s enough quarreling between you love birds.”
A cheerful voice that seemed incredibly out of place echoed in the air.
At the same time, a ray of intense light was fired directly at the Demon Queen.
The Demon Queen immediately took up a defensive stance, but she was still swallowed up by the light in an instant.
The light was pure white, a color unlike any of the other four elements, and gradually eroded the Demon Queen’s black magical barrier.
When the torrent of light subsided, the Demon Queen was kneeled over, her magical barrier nowhere to be seen.
If you took a closer look, you could see that there was a wound on the arm she used to form the barrier.
Meanwhile, not a single scratch was left on any of us.
“What do you think, Rei? Or should I say, Demon Queen? Well, whatever. This new invention of mine kinda hurts, doesn’t it?”
The owner of the voice belonged to a certain one-armed man.
He wasn’t wearing the Empire’s military uniform, but rather, Bauer’s.
“Hey there, Claire. Looks like something interesting happened here. I’ve come to help.”
Rod Bauer, the former crown prince of Bauer, laughed like he was invincible.
The Demon Queen glared at Rod-sama irritatedly as she spoke.
“Yeah, it’s me. What’s up, Rei? You were always such an interesting girl, but seeing that you’ve become the Demon Queen now is way too amusing.”
“…… You really can’t read the room, can you. Did you really think you could win against me just because you left a scratch on me?”
“That shot just now was rather weak. The maximum output isn’t anything like this, you know?”
Sparks were crackling between Rod-sama and the Demon Queen.
“Rod-sama, what was the magic you used just now?”
“Oh, it’s a new magical device that I created. I’m not the one actually using the magic, but I’ll explain more about that later.”
Rod-sama turned to the Demon Queen again and continued.
“You call yourself the Demon Queen, right? Your sight and hearing must be better than the average person, so you must be aware of it by now. We’re sending in reinforcements from Bauer.”
“No matter how strong of an entity you may be, you’ll be at a disadvantage if you have to fight that many magic users off at the same time, right?”
In contrast to Rod-sama, who sounded like he was running his mouth off, the Demon Queen remained silent.
“You punk…… Just what do you think you’re saying to the Demon Queen, huh? Your Highness, please let me do it. I can take every one of these guys on my own――”
“Please don’t, Plato. We’re retreating.”
“Do you have any objections?”
After managing to silence Plato with a single question, the Demon Queen turned on her heels.
“Hey, hey, even though I came all this way for you, you’re going to end our date here? Come one, let’s play around a bit more.”
“You’re the same as always, aren’t you, Rod-sama. Didn’t I tell you before that I don’t like persistent men?”
“Hmm, is that so? …… You really are Rei, huh.”
Rod-sama’s tone sounded lonely for a moment, while the Demon Queen responded to his question curtly.
“Claire-sama, and the other me. There won’t be a next time. I will definitely kill you by then.”
After leaving us with that, the Demon Queen and Plato took off and flew towards the east.
The Demon Queen didn’t have any wings, but she was still able to fly somehow.
There were a lot of things about her that were completely out of the ordinary.
“Rod-sama, you saved us.”
“Please let me express my appreciation as well. Thank you very much, Rod-sama.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m glad I made it in time.”
After laughing for a moment, Rod-sama continued.
“Anyway, what was with all of that? Rei’s the Demon Queen?”
“We’re not entirely sure of the situation either. But personally, I think she is without a doubt, Rei Taylor herself.”
Claire-sama said firmly.
“If you’re the one saying that, then it must be true. The problem is how this all relates to the Rei that we know.”
“That’s true…… Rei, do you have any guesses?”
“No, I really have no idea.”
In the first place, I never even knew the Demon Queen existed at all.
And now that we find out I’m supposed to be her, everything has become way too confusing.
“Well, for the time being, let’s get going. We’ve got refugees from the Empire with us, right?”
“Oh, yes, that’s right. I completely forgot about that.”
We were in the middle of evacuating the citizens of the Empire.
“We’ve got reinforcements from Bauer coming in as well. Even if the Demon Queen decides to show up again, we should be able to hold her off for a while.”
“Thank you very much.”
After that, we devoted our time to guiding the refugees.
Fortunately, there were no attacks called on by the Demon Queen throughout the whole process.
However, my mind was now full of doubts.
Why was the Demon Queen’s true identity me?
Why was she trying to kill off Claire-sama and myself?
And to begin with, what exactly am I, and what is the truth behind this world?
We’re back with chapter 17! As usual, each part will be released every day around 11 AM UTC. This chapter will consist of 13 parts, we hope to see you over the next two weeks! If you haven’t done so already, feel free to join us in Jingle’s Discord server, where we’ll ping those who wish to receive notifications for any IFTV updates. Of course, anybody who doesn’t want to receive those notifications are opted out of them by default, so come swing by if you just want to chat!
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As usual, thank you for reading I Favor the Villainess, and I hope you all enjoy what’s to come!